'Don't Get SOPA'd' Is The New Mantra On Capitol Hill

from the good dept

As we noted when one of the recent cybersecurity bills was introduced in the Senate, it was accompanied by a press release that explicitly stated that this bill wasn't SOPA. While the entertainment industry keeps hoping that the anti-SOPA protests were a one-time experience, apparently the power of internet users is very much on the minds of nearly everyone on Capitol Hill who have turned the phrase "don't get SOPA'd" into a new mantra.

This is excellent news in a number of ways. Congress should fear backlash from going against the will of the people, especially in mucking around with some of the key tools they use to communicate every day. The only issue I take with the article is that it rehashes the false dichotomy that SOPA was "Silicon Valley vs. Hollywood," and quotes lots of people who continue to talk about how the way to avoid "getting SOPA'd" is to talk to the tech industry, but not to internet users themselves. Now, I think that talking to the tech industry is a good place to start, and it is an important stakeholder in understanding the internet, but what drove the SOPA protests was the users. Yes, tech companies helped get their users interested in the topic, but once the users on Tumblr, Reddit and Wikipedia took over, they were the ones driving the bus. The companies themselves took a backseat and, at times, were pressured into going along with what the users wanted, against their own concerns (for example, the date of the January 18th protests, which many "industry insiders" thought was too early, since the Senate wasn't yet in session).

So, while quotes like this are great to see:
“Nobody wants another SOPA moment,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a vocal critic of SOPA, told POLITICO. “The nerds are more powerful than anyone thought, and the tech industry flexed its muscle like never before.”

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said the anti-SOPA movement showed a certain “coming of political age” for the tech industry, and his colleagues in the House are treading carefully.

“They’re involving the tech community more and are more interested in listening,” said Polis, who also opposed SOPA. “They’re paying closer attention now.”
I think even those two strong allies in the fight against SOPA are missing the mark somewhat. It's not the tech industry that people need to be paying such close attention to. It's the internet users themselves. Ignoring that and just trying to court deals with the companies is a strategy that's likely to backfire.

At the end, the article acknowledges this in a rather backhanded way -- merely using it to suggest that the tech industry really isn't so powerful and that politicians shouldn't worry about another SOPA:
“The rational observers realize there’s a significant overestimation of high tech’s ability to control the netroots,” said one industry lobbyist.

Another lobbyist said it’s “nearly impossible” to get the tech community to engage on policy issues, especially complicated measures that are highly technical, such as cybersecurity, or dry, such as online taxes.

“SOPA was an inflection point and people on the Hill are certainly going to take more notice next time around,” the lobbyist said. “But one incident like that isn’t going to be the huge game changer.”
But notice what's totally ignored here. That the "netroots" -- the internet users who stood up and spoke out by the millions -- still are engaged and aware. The lobbyist is correct that the tech industry can't control the netroots. But that doesn't mean there's nothing to fear concerning another SOPA, it means that politicians need to be open and engaging with the netroots, not just the tech industry.

And this article suggests that folks on Capitol Hill still might not understand that... which is why it actually may be more likely that we'll see another SOPA moment.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    This is the same mistake that was made all over the middle east. In the US I am hoping it goes differently and we just vote the F%^kers out.

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    “The nerds are more powerful than anyone thought, and the tech industry flexed its muscle like never before.”

    Got to love the whole jock mentality all these guys seem to have. Constantly throwing around "the nerds" as if this is still high school. It is about time for these guys to wake the hell up and realize us "nerds" do a hell of a lot more in the real world than the quarterback jocks do.

    Looking all fashionable and being able to throw a ball around does not in any way help society. That does not lead to innovation or new ideas. Sure there are some jocks that do add to society but it is their hidden "nerdyness" that helps society not their ability to throw a football.

     

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      silverscarcat (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      What if they're on defense? They don't get to throw the ball then!

      And Alan Page became a judge after football.

       

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      J, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

      Re:

      I wouldn't judge Chaffetz too harshly for that. He's one of the internet's best friends. He really needs to quit using the term, but he's speaking to engage the media, not really expressing his real feelings on the matter.

      He's one of the few people that's insisted on bringing in the technically adept, as opposed to writing legislation in the dark. I get that most won't take it that way, but his usage of the term 'nerds' is affectionate, not derogatory.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:51am

    Dealing with netroots isn't as profitable

    If the politicians can convince tech industry that it has power, then maybe the tech industry will engage politicians in a more productive way. Which is to come to Washington and grease pockets like everybody else.

     

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    anotheranon, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    What bothers me most is the idea the word 'control'. It seems Capitol Hill only thinks of industries in terms of whoever has the power to control the most mindless sheep. For a very long time, this was mass media. Now, in their minds, they're seeing the tech industry 'control' the internet. Of course they don't see 'netroots' as individuals, or think about our legitimate concerns. They're just thinking in terms of statistics that can be monopolized and shared.

    So that's what it's all about. Not really about money, even, but about who can control the sheep and keep them distracted while the government does its thing. Let the people be kept unawares, run along now, let the adults do their own things, etc.

    I'm pretty sure my country didn't lend airbases to the US for this back in the 70's.

     

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      Hulser (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:46am

      Re:

      It seems Capitol Hill only thinks of industries in terms of whoever has the power to control the most mindless sheep.

      I think it doesn't even occur to most politicians that they'd have to engage the people as a whole instead of big companies or lobbying groups. Money in concentrated in big companies and lobbying groups, so that's whey're they're conditioned to focus their attention. When confronted with what happened with SOPA, their response is "Right, OK...but who's going to pay my bribes?"

       

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    MPHinPgh (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Remarkable

    The poiticians, even as they're trying to say "We get it", don't get it. On one hand, they think it's the tech companies they need to appease. Then they think it's the "nerds" they need to appease. What they don't get (and Mike states as much, I'm just boiling it down) it that it's the citizenry, the people the politicians (allegedly) represent that need to be appeased. They have such a warped sense of who they work for (i.e. corporations and special interests) that they've completely forgotten that it is the average citizen that they should be worried about.

    I feel more confident everyday in my "Vote out incumbents" philosophy.

     

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      tqk (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:40am

      Re: Remarkable

      The poiticians, even as they're trying to say "We get it", don't get it. On one hand, they think it's the tech companies they need to appease. Then they think it's the "nerds" they need to appease. What they don't get (and Mike states as much, I'm just boiling it down) it that it's the citizenry, the people the politicians (allegedly) represent that need to be appeased.

      Indeed. In fact, I thought the "tech industry" needed to be dragged kicking and screaming into this long after I'd been seeing spitting mad people posting about SOPA/PIPA on *many* net forums (TD, /., Ars, ...). GoDaddy backed off once threatened. Wikimedia showed up when they finally realized what it meant to them. Even Google seemed pretty slow to "get it."

      It seems there is a lot of truth in the belief that politicians these days only hear those who can potentially show up with a big fat check.

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re: Remarkable

        Shhhh...now you're telling them that Google, Amazon and Wikimedia didn't lead this revolt. They weren't supposed to know that!

         

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 8:58am

    What is missed

    What is missed is that it wasn't the tech industry it was people, just average people that saw what was going to happen if the law was passed and did not like it. The internet is not for Nerds or Geeks anymore. It is for everyone. The average person uses the internet in the US 32 hours a month.

    And Everyone is what they need to worry about. Not just the Nerds.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:07am

    getting SOPA'd

    You can see they still think it was a big fucking joke. Oh we pissed of the "techies" They just dont get it.


    Now we have to scrutinize every piece of legislation. They WILL be slipping in this crap bit by bit.

    I think this is lousy and shows just how much they dont get it:
    “The nerds are more powerful than anyone thought, and the tech industry flexed its muscle like never before.”
    As I have stated before, the "nerds" are your citizens, and even my Mom(I am 42) can not live without the internet and her laptop.

    "the tech industry flexed its muscle" - (Shaking head) Just dont get it. GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!

    EVERY CITIZEN, YOUNG AND OLD, IS A NERD NOWADAYS. Please find a way to get that point through your thick skulls congress.

     

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      silverscarcat (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:35am

      Government response

      But, but... If the nerds are common, everyday Americans, what does that make our elite, rich and spoiled masters?

       

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        tqk (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:50am

        Re: Government response

        But, but... If the nerds are common, everyday Americans, what does that make our elite, rich and spoiled masters?

        Dinosaurs, silly. :-)

        They still think we can all be controlled by buying politicians to pass draconian laws that we'll all be good citizens and heed. Too bad we can't force politicians and the *AAs to just get on the net themselves and listen to our screams of outrage.

         

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        Chargone (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

        Re: Government response

        obsolete.

         

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        The Moondoggie, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

        Re: Government response

        The rich-boy jocks. Remember that rich kid who bullies you in gradeschool with his gang? Yeah, that kid named "Smith"? First name starts with the letter L....

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    The lobbyist is correct that the tech industry can't control the netroots. But that doesn't mean there's nothing to fear concerning another SOPA, it means that politicians need to be open and engaging with the netroots, not just the tech industry.

    So are you saying that if a SOPA-type bill emerged that was supported by tech companies and content alike, that it could be defeated by the net roots alone?

     

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      silverscarcat (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:36am

      Re:

      Have a cookie!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:30am

      Re:

      This will most likely NOT happen anyway. Because unlike Congress and the Content Cartels most of the large tech companies understand that their very existence depends on listening to the public to which they cater.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:40am

      Re:

      Yes.

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:44am

      Re:

      What you're missing is that the tech industry, as reliant on copyright as "big content" is is used to sharing.

      What we have today is built on nerds, if you must, sharing concepts AND code to build and improve on what came before. The entire open source segment of tech comes from that ethic. A great deal of closed source also comes from there as well. As do things like advancement in chip design and coding.

      There is little or no common ground between the the tech industry and the "content" industry in that regard. So a bill that benefits both is highly unlikely.

       

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      Joe, Mar 18th, 2012 @ 10:11pm

      Re:

      I doubt it would be bill restricting rights if the tech community supported it. Either that or it would be a bill that would be fought vehemently by RIAA and co. So I do not think that is a viable scenario.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    “The nerds are more powerful than anyone thought, and the tech industry flexed its muscle like never before.”

    I'm sick of seeing this. We're not the nerds (ok, some of us are, but still). We're the average people. You're just old and unwilling to learn.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    It's not practical to "talk to the users," as there is no way to identify a "user". If I'm a politician and I go onto a forum, like, say, Techdirt, post some legislation that I'm considering, and get 100 opinions on it, how do I know that I just got 100 distinct users' opinions and not, say, 10 users with 10 different handles?

    And how do I know that these are even users from within my constituency? They could be anyone from anywhere in the world who has an internet connection.

    At least if I talk to authorized representatives from a tech company, I'm dealing with an entity that's registered as a business with local/state/federal governments and therefore has slightly less liberty to troll me. Tech lobbyists may be guilty of any number of devious political schemes, but misrepresenting their own interests to lawmakers strictly for the lulz is not one of them.

    But if you can think of a way for an elected official to consult with voters that will preserve the constituents' anonymity while simultaneously guaranteeing their authenticity, yes, user-level feedback is great and should be strongly encouraged.

     

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      DCX2, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      To think that the value of one's opinion depends on who is making that opinion is an ad-hominem logical fallacy.

      Suppose a brilliant opinion is written by someone from Nigeria. Does that make the opinion any less brilliant? Should a lawmaker ignore this idea entirely because it's not one of their constituents?

      As far as "10 users with 10 different handles", while it's impossible to prevent this with 100% accuracy, there are many ways to mitigate this issue. Besides, it would not be unlike how the Parents Television Council is responsible for the vast majority of complaints to the FCC, using automated forms submitted by individuals who almost never actually see the offending material in question, who represent less than 0.01% of Americans, resulting in millions of dollars of "indecency" fines.

       

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      tqk (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:57am

      Re:

      But if you can think of a way for an elected official to consult with voters that will preserve the constituents' anonymity while simultaneously guaranteeing their authenticity, yes, user-level feedback is great and should be strongly encouraged.

      People have been sending personal emails to politicians for a long time now, but what do we keep hearing about the pols' responses? "All I got was this shitty boilerplate response from a staffer restating the pol's belief in the necessity of their intention."

      It takes two to tango. If you won't listen, you can't hear.

       

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:07am

      Re:

      I am going to have to agree with DCX2 here. Does it really matter who is sending in the information from where? I don't think so. If it results in better legislation then it was good advice.

      As it stands right now, we the people aren't being heard on any regular basis. Just a few months ago, I was told that if I wasn't flying out to Washington DC and booking an appointment with my representative every time I needed to voice my opinion, then my opinion doesn't matter. What made such a statement worse was the fact that my Congressman and Senator's responses to my letters seemed to hold that as a truth.

      Contrary to popular troll belief, these people are elected to represent the people, not special interests. Legislation should be considered on its impact for all people in the US, not just those who spend millions lobbying the government every year. SOPA failed because it was not carefully weighed and balanced to the benefit of all the US. That is why any further legislation following it will fail.

      It is time to stop the closed minded and closed off legislative process.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:47am

      Re:

      If I'm a politician and I go onto a forum, like, say, Techdirt, post some legislation that I'm considering, and get 100 opinions on it, how do I know that I just got 100 distinct users' opinions and not, say, 10 users with 10 different handles?


      Maybe you can't. But registered lobbyists certainly exaggerate the citizenry support for their positions, so this is a problem across the board.

      And how do I know that these are even users from within my constituency? They could be anyone from anywhere in the world who has an internet connection.


      And this is also no different than dealing with lobbying groups.

      At least if I talk to authorized representatives from a tech company, I'm dealing with an entity that's registered as a business with local/state/federal governments and therefore has slightly less liberty to troll me.


      They do? Because I see nearly constant trolling on the part of these firms that is easily on the order of the best of what the internet can do.

      The problems you cite are valid. They just aren't mitigated by paying attention only to industry entities.

      Besides, politicians are supposed to represent the people not industry. To simply discount people in favor of industry is the very thing that is wrong with our government today.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:20am

    I have no doubt that many people "spoke up", but I am left wondering how many who did so spoke-up multiple times and/or are not US citizens.

    What troubles me most about the recent SOPA/PIPA debacle is not that people spoke up, but that so many of them appear to have done so in response to moral panics that were not a part of the pending bills.

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      As opposed to the moral panic, that was not founded in reality, which resulted in the writing of the bills?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      But they were part of the pending bills, you know, before they were removed, maybe that's what the protest was really about; if you never consult the public then don't be surprised when that same public reacts.

      "But we changed it!"

      Not good enough.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re:

        They were no longer part of the pending bills, and yet a select few "fanned the flames" by continuing to treat them as if they were still in the bills.

         

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          E. Zachary Knight (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Regardless, the amended bills were still bad, still unbalanced to the detriment of the public and still needed to be killed.

          Another problem was the nature in which the bills were amended. They were amended in private with no input except by those that were lobbying for the bills to begin with. That still screams abuse.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Even if bad, that is still no excuse to deliberately pass out misinformation.

            As for the amendments, they were made to scale back the bills in light of input from various groups lobbying against some of their provisions. I am not sure how that screams abuse. It seems to me it is quite the contrary.

             

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              E. Zachary Knight (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Even if bad, that is still no excuse to deliberately pass out misinformation.

              Then why haven't the supporters of SOPA/PIPA shut up yet?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:55am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Not sure what you are getting at since the articles are not at all about those bills, but instead observations about using the internet as a political tool.

                 

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                  E. Zachary Knight (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  What I am getting at is that you claim to want to end misinformation campaigns, but it seems for only the side the won this particular debate. You want those who fought against SOPA/PIPA to stop using misinformation (which I agree with you on that point) but are neglecting the massive amount of misinformation coming from the pro-SOPA/PIPA side of the debate.

                  What is troubling is that you think it is such a huge issue that people were latching onto the original language of the bills even after many of the more troubling parts were amended out, but seem to have no problem with the fact that the bills in question were written and proposed based on the very lies and misinformation spouted by the likes of the MPAA and the RIAA.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You're the one who brought these bills up to support your fallacious and pointless argument.

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not good enough.

           

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          weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Dont kid yourself, we are at war. There are entities that have no concern for the little ppl, truth, etc.

          Meh. If a few exaggerations woke a few up, so be it. The other side uses lies and deception as standard practice.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            A few exaggerations? You might want to reconsider your use of the word "few". In the vernacular here I would use the word "tons".

             

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    DCX2, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:20am

    Nearly impossible?

    Another lobbyist said it’s “nearly impossible” to get the tech community to engage on policy issues, especially complicated measures that are highly technical, such as cybersecurity, or dry, such as online taxes.

    It wouldn't be so impossible if these lobbyists would...I dunno...be willing to engage the tech industry *at all*?

    How can you expect the industry to engage on policy issues when they *were never invited to a discussion*?

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

      Re: Nearly impossible?

      Perhaps it's hard to engage the tech community or individuals when the lobbyist is constantly wanting baby talk. The problem I see here is that the lobbyist and, by extension, the tech industry speak two different languages. If one or the other is speaking the jargon of their trade then the other is left wondering what these people are talking about.

      For example tech jargon will leave most "outsiders" dreadfully cold and the uneducated completely frozen out. I suspect that the lobbyist (and politician) aren't at all educated in the technology of the Internet or the World Wide Web so acronyms that slip off the tongue of the techies such as DNS, FTP, Server, IIS vs Apache and many others just don't mean a thing to the lobbyist or politician.

      Then again, it's about time the lobbyists and politicians figured all this stuff out. Even at the most basic level.

      The MPAA and RIAA have an advantage these days in that given the basic tools on Windows, Apple and most Linux distros you can make a half way passable move of you and your grandkids day at the beach and a half way passage sound recording if you have a half decent microphone or two hanging around. The politicians, even if they can't or have never done it before, are their heart of hearts that they can do these things. So what's not to understand? Even if they don't know the difference between a cut and a swipe.


      Add all the spare cash that the RIAA and MPAA have around as they shriek about poverty and you find yourself with a deal clincher quite often.

      Very few, if any, congress critters have installed Windows from scratch with the what seems like half a million reboots along the way, Even fewer have installed a Linux distro which, for most of them, these days is a walk in the park compared to Windows.

      If the need any of that it's a call to the grandkids, again, to do it for them. The Web Kids.

      Tech may need to simplify things for these people without talking down to them even if it's a 10 minute crash course. The lobbyists and politicians need to take these sorts of things seriously enough to learn some "small" things like computers and networks spend of their time copying or nothing will come out in the end.

      But the tech industry has to be invited to the talks and discussions as a bill ABOUT technology is being discussed. Not just the Apple's, Microsft's and GoDaddys of the world but also the Apache Foundation, Red Hat, Debians and even Ubuntu's of the world just to start. Perhaps individuals like Linus Torvalds, Tim Berners-Lee and Bill Gates as well.

      And precious little these days when talking or legislating isn't, in one form or another, talking about technology. And, to an increasing extent, about the Internet.

      It's long past time or the great divide of the recent past to end.

       

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    Beta (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    nearly impossible

    'Another [tech industry] lobbyist said it’s “nearly impossible” to get the tech community to engage on policy issues, especially complicated measures that are highly technical, such as cybersecurity...'

    Yes, it's nearly impossible to get the tech community to engage on cybersecurity policy issues. They're such smartasses about security. We develop body scanners for airport security, and the online community points out that they're totally worthless. We try to give the government new powers to invade citizens' privacy and strip them of their civil rights in order to prevent massive cyberattack, and they go and point out that the scenarios are wildly unrealistic and can be prevented by simple and cheap security measures. We sell the military magic security wands, and the online community makes fun of us. We try to sell the government secure electronic voting systems, and they go and break them in a day. We try to sell the government New And Improved Super-Secure electronic voting systems, and they break them in a day. We try to advance new innovations in DRM, and the hackers break them in a day. We try to make it illegal to expose the security holes, which would make all of these problems go away, and they piss and moan.

    Why can't they just let us be the security experts?

     

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    kenichi tanaka, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:28am

    I don't think it's politicians who are worried but rather the tech industry. Americans are the consumers of their products. Considering that the SOPA controversy has turned itno a firestorm and has caught fire to one of the very cornerstones of our country, Silicon Valley and many other organizations, companies/businesses and those in other industries have caught a lot of bad press over their support for the bill.

    The bill is a dream for the entertainment industry (and for Congress) but that our "representatives" in Congress didn't count on the "LEVEL of backlash and LEVEL of discontent that SOPA and PIPA have created. There has been so much protest over these type of bills that it's amounting to basically a "Rodney King" type movement.

    I didn't want to use that analogy but Congress is to blame for all of this. It wasn't until September 11th, 2001 that Americans started paying close attention to the hearing and coverage on C-Span that was happening in Congress (House of Representatives, The Senate). It's a two edged sword and now American voters hold Congress even more liable for what they are voting on in Congress and it's created the kind of Grassroots support that Congress hasn't seen in such a long time.

     

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    Steve Worona (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:37am

    The plural of "nerd" isn't "the tech industry"

    It’s Citizens United taken to its perversely illogical conclusion: To politicians and lobbyists, not only are corporations people, they’re the only people.

    bit.ly/x2CzQy

     

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    Bengie, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    WTF?

    They're worried about the "nerds" getting mad again and not about how SOPA was anti-Constitutional in every-way possible?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    Calling them nerds, shows even this politician doesn't get it. If it were only the nerds, there'd be maybe hundreds of thousands at most, not tens of millions of peopling calling and signing against SOPA.

    It's obvious even SOPA critics don't really understand how important the Internet has become in people's lives, let alone the SOPA supporters. They are all just trying to paint this on the "nerds" as if it's only some minority you might be able to ignore later on, by pitting other groups against the "nerds".

    Well, I hope they realize they are wrong thinking that, because the vast majority of people disagreeing with SOPA were NOT nerds.

     

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    rubberpants, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    "Nobody wants another SOPA moment."

    Speak for yourself.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    He has it backwards

    “The rational observers realize there’s a significant overestimation of high tech’s ability to control the netroots,” said one industry lobbyist.


    That's exactly right. The power structure is the other way around: the netroots has the ability to control the high tech industry. Just the way it should be.

     

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    Geek Hillbilly (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    Nerds,Geeks & SOPA

    You damned right we nerds * geeks are paying very close attention to what the MAFIAA is trying to pull in Washington DC.And I got news for the MOFOs-. We ain't gonna every let up.

    I use the internet a lot,being disabled than there is no way SOPA,PIPA or ACTA will get through without some kind of shady dealing.Then they will get called out and forced to withdraw.

    Anyone of Capitol Hill who supports such bill has found out there will be a terrible price to pay such censorship.

     

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    toyotabedzrock (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    This Is A Bad Sign

    To me this phrase says they have not learned anything except that they need to hide their intentions from the public better.

     

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    cc (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    I love the fact that Reddit is putting together an anti-Lamar Smith PAC. Apparently, they already have enough to put up a billboard.

    If you are an American voter, help them out:

    http://testpacpleaseignore.org/

     

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    Steve, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    If they still think this is a "tech industry" thing, and not a "concerned people of the world wanting to protect internet freedom" thing, then that means that they don't realize their actions have awoken a sleeping giant who will be watching their every political move. Somehow I think that the vomit-worthy DMCA would have met the same fate if people were as connected and aware of such political shenanigans in the late 90s as they are now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    You guys need to learn - they tried to do it right in front of you, and you got mad and made a stink because they were taking your binky away. So next time, they will go it piece meal, as amendments to other laws, in budget bills, and the like. Quite simple, the results will be the same, and you won't have a name or a single law to attack.

    SUCKERS!

     

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    bshock, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Oh noes, the U.S. might become a democracy!

    So if Hollywood/Congress insists that anti-SOPA backlash only came from the tech sector, does that mean Hollywood/Congress completely, aristocratically, arrogantly discounts the notion of democracy? Or does it mean Hollywood/Congress is like a drunk searching for his keys under a streetlight after losing them in a dark alley?

     

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      Chargone (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Oh noes, the U.S. might become a democracy!

      ... there's nothing aristocratic about it.

      they're plutocrats

      neither of which have Anything to do with democracy one way or the other.

      (plutocracy is rule by the rich, aristocracy rule by ... nobles, i guess? not sure on the precise meaning for that one. please note that Neither is rule by the people (democracy). blood and steel or gold and ink, either way the common man gets shafted. difference is, that's how plutocrats Get there, so it becomes ingraned, while aristocrats have at least Some hope of having other ideas.)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    Nerd: The other N-word.

     

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    Shadoefax (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:12pm

    SOPA as a verb

    SOPA as a verb. I like it. If we were to consider the acronym as standing for "Save Our Pathetic Asses", we could also use it as an adjective. As in "Since we can't adapt to current technology, let's try to slip in a SOPA bill to dupe the masses and maintain the status quo."

     

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    Punk, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Government should be afraid

    The internet is the new government and that is what the MPAA, RIAA, Capitol Hill, etc. are afraid of the fact that they are irrelevant to the interests of the people.

     

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    Digitari, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    RE: the N word

    I'm a nerd trapped in a Jocks Body, talk about gender confused....


    Government: "Resistance is Futile"


    Netizens: "you are Obsolete"

     

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    [citation needed or GTFO], Mar 13th, 2012 @ 1:49am

    "Really? Nerds?"

    “The nerds are more powerful than anyone thought, and the tech industry flexed its muscle like never before.”

    "You know, actually, the word you're looking for, is "experts."

     

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    Kimberly Chapman (profile), Mar 15th, 2012 @ 9:59am

    I want Lamar Smith GONE

    I was in Lloyd Doggett's district but TX just hosed him and moved him, so now I'm in Lamar SOPA Smith's district. If all goes well I'll have citizenship within two months (only waiting for the ceremony at this point). I will then work as much as I'm able with my other volunteer commitments to get Smith out of office, preferably with a Democrat, but if it has to be the GOP guy challenging him, I'll take that. Smith MUST GO. And hopefully everyone who blacked out during the protest will contribute to the effort to get him out.

     

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    government hater, Aug 27th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

    fuck obama to hell

    i think obama is going to far with the fucken internet privacy he's an asshole he needs to stop fucking up our freedom

     

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